Type to search

Decatur School Board to consider adopting fiscal year 2024 budget

Decatur Trending

Decatur School Board to consider adopting fiscal year 2024 budget

The Decatur School Board met on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, and adopted City Schools of Decatur's strategic plan. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — The City Schools of Decatur School Board will meet on Tuesday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. for a regular meeting. The meeting will be in-person at the Wilson School Support Center, 125 Electric Ave., and via Zoom.

During the regular meeting, the school board will consider adopting the fiscal year 2024 budget. The board will also hold public hearings on the budget on Tuesday at 9 a.m. via Zoom and at 6:15 p.m. at the Wilson Center and through Zoom.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions:

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

To join the Zoom meetings, click here. To join by phone, dial +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592. The webinar ID is 956 1415 9391. The Zoom link is the same for the public hearings and the regular meeting.

To make a public comment, in-person attendees can register online before the meeting or upon arrival by scanning a QR Code on the Board Room entrance. Registration will ensure that the district collects information necessary to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing. Please ensure the name you enter on the form matches the name you use(d) to sign-up. If the names do not match, it will not be possible for you to be recognized to participate in public comment. To sign up for public comment, click here.

City Schools of Decatur’s budget is divided into four categories — the school nutrition revenue budget, the special revenue budget, the capital projects budget, and the general fund budget.

The budget for 2024 has increased by about $8 million compared to the current budget. The general fund revenue is projected to be about $95.5 million.

The school board will also consider tentatively setting the millage rate at 21 mills, which is the same rate as fiscal year 2023. According to the agenda packet, the district will receive the tax digest in mid-May and the final millage rate could change. CSD has projected a 7% increase in the tax digest.

Most of the budget increase relates to personnel benefits and salary increases.

“State revenue has increased by approximately $5 million, with the primary increases related to a $2,000 salary increase for earned certified positions (a little over 400 employees) and increased health costs for certified employees ($7,620 per employee per year),” the agenda packet states. “Although enrollment has decreased, the state has held the district harmless for FY2024 (did not decrease revenue).”

The budget projects using about $1.9 million of fund balance, which is the district’s reserves, to balance the budget. The general fund expenditures are budgeted at about $97.4 million.

“This budget includes $2,000 salary increases for all employees and step increases for eligible employees, increases in health benefits, and increases in substitute pay and activity stipends,” the agenda states. “Teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals, equity and safety staff, and an administrative support position are also included in the budget in addition to instructional materials (a full list of additions is listed in the appendix).”

The school board will also consider budget enhancements from incoming Superintendent Dr. Gyimah Whitaker. She has proposed adding three new staff positions – chief of communications, coordinator of audit/investigations, and legislative liaison coordinator.

The total fiscal impact on the budget would be an additional $426,478 to the FY 2024 budget “decreasing the fund balance percentage of expenditures from 7.65 percent to 7.19 percent. The fund balance remains within the 4-15 % range as specified per board policy DCL,” the agenda states.

In other business, the school board may discuss recommendations from the dyslexia task force. The school board will not take action on the recommendations. Some of the recommendations are:

– CSD should utilize universal screeners that measure all required areas of Senate Bill 48 with specificity. SB 48 was signed into law in 2019 and provides for identifying and supporting kids in kindergarten through second grade for dyslexia.

– Students should not be required to have below benchmark scores on both screeners.

– Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) training for all instructional coaches in the 2023-2024 school year.

– LETRS training for all academic intervention and special education teachers in the 2024-2025 school year.

– Redesigning the dyslexia information section on the CSD website.

– Providing frequently asked questions about how struggling readers and students exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia are supported in CSD.

Correction: An earlier version stated the school board would vote on the dyslexia task force recommendations, but CSD later clarified the agenda item is information only. 

If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Decaturish is now on Mastodon. To follow us, visit: https://newsie.social/@Decaturish/.

Decaturish is now on Post. To follow us, visit: https://post.news/@/decaturish

Decaturish is now on Flipboard. To follow us, visit: https://flipboard.com/@Decaturish.